Mass spectral analysis of neuropeptide expression and distribution in the nervous system of the lobster Homarus americanus

J Proteome Res. 2010 Feb 5;9(2):818-32. doi: 10.1021/pr900736t.


The lobster Homarus americanus has long served as an important animal model for electrophysiological and behavioral studies. Using this model, we performed a comprehensive investigation of the neuropeptide expression and their localization in the nervous system, which provides useful insights for further understanding of their biological functions. Using nanoLC ESI Q-TOF MS/MS and three types of MALDI instruments, we analyzed the neuropeptide complements in a major neuroendocrine structure, pericardial organ. A total of 57 putative neuropeptides were identified and 18 of them were de novo sequenced. Using direct tissue/extract analysis and bioinformatics software SpecPlot, we charted the global distribution of neuropeptides throughout the nervous system in H. americanus. Furthermore, we also mapped the localization of several neuropeptide families in the brain by high mass resolution and high mass accuracy mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) using a MALDI LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer. We have also compared the utility and instrument performance of multiple mass spectrometers for neuropeptide analysis in terms of peptidome coverage, sensitivity, mass spectral resolution and capability for de novo sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Crustacea
  • Nervous System / chemistry*
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Neuropeptides